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The Killing Lessons: A Novel Hardcover – September 22, 2015
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“Shockingly good writing…It’s impossible not to be swept away by its propulsive momentum. The appeal of this dark and intensely disquieting book isn’t entirely visceral either. By shifting the narrative point of view, Black allows us to peer into the depths of his many richly developed characters, from the surprisingly complex killers and their dedicated hunters to the supporting players who pop up only to be ruthlessly disposed of.” ―The New York Times Book Review
“Compelling . . . graphic and disturbing. Black utilizes the psychological edge of his characters to elevate the story.” ―Associated Press
“The troubled, vulnerable Valerie is a strong and believable character, and she and her colleagues amount to an unusually admiring portrait of police work… Black squeezes every last ounce of suspense out of this story. One violent climax follows another…The Killing Lessons is state of the art in the ever-darkening serial-killer genre.” ―The Washington Post
“For nine months The Girl on the Train has been lauded as the best thriller of 2015, but it has some real competition with the arrival of The Killing Lessons. . . . Violent but never gratuitous, Duncan’s first crack at a thriller is a master class in suspense. Phrases like “page-turner” and “it kept me up all night!” get thrown around a lot in the book business, but The Killing Lessons is hands-down the most compelling, addictive novel I’ve read this year.” ―Bookpage
“At the start of this exceptional police thriller, two armed men show up at an isolated farmhouse outside Ellinson, Colo., with fatal results for the Cooper family. . . . Readers will hope [Valerie] returns soon in another nail-biter.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred)
“All of the serial-killer staples are accounted for: self-destructing detective, slippery killer, and sympathetic future victims. But Black, a pseudonym for acclaimed dark-fantasy author Glen Duncan (The Last Werewolf, 2011), twists the formula with a killer who defies the coldly calculating criminal mastermind archetype, an unblinking willingness to off characters he's convinced readers to like, and a hokum-free thread of reawakening lost souls. [A] must-read for those who like their psychological thrillers raw.” ―Booklist (starred)
“A taut, smart thriller guaranteed to keep readers on the edge of their seats. Not to be missed.” ―Library Journal (starred)
“Ending the rampage of two sadistic serial killers may depend on a substance-abusing homicide detective facing an old lover and an unknown nemesis in this raw and utterly readable thriller. . . . [Black] cooks up mayhem among mortals, creating a duo from Of Mice and Men by way of Thomas Harris without the fava beans.” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred)
“Unbelievably good...this one has it all.” ―Lee Child, New York Times bestselling author of Personal
“The Killing Lessons is a dark, twisted, and deeply compelling read. Saul Black perfectly inhabits each of his characters, even the most deranged among them, and weaves a breathless thriller that is as beautiful as it is terrifying.” ―Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author of Crazy Love You
“This novel breaks brilliant. It's hard to tell what's the best part of The Killing Lessons: the sweaty-palm plot that races along like a squadcar on a high-speed pursuit, the breathtaking depictions of the characters, good and bad, or author Black's inimitable style. My vote? All three.” ―Jeffery Deaver, New York Times bestselling author of The Skin Collector and Solitude Creek
“Completely mesmerizing! Black delivers a powerhouse of a thriller: two terrifying villains versus one damaged cop with numerous lives in the balance. Not to be missed.” ―Lisa Gardner, New York Times bestselling author of Fear Nothing
“Do not read this. No reader deserves to be terrified like this.” ―Linwood Barclay, New York Times bestselling author of Never Look Away and No Time for Goodbye
“If you want to ruin a perfectly good weekend with a gut-wrenching, spine-tingling, deeply disturbing, edge-of-the-seat-thrilling crime novel, The Killing Lessons is your ticket. Beware.” ―Chris Pavone, New York Times bestselling author of The Expats and The Accident
“The Killing Lessons is the best thriller I've read in years. It's so realistic at times that I had to stop and catch my breath. The relationship between these two killers, and the woman who is trying to capture them, is intense and tangible. This is the first book that I've finished, then turned immediately back to page one so I could experience it all over again. It's mind-blowing, terrifying, visceral, disturbing, and gorgeously written and I've been telling everyone I know that they have to pick up this book!” ―Chevy Stevens, New York Times bestselling author of That Night
About the Author
Saul Black is a pseudonym for Glen Duncan, the author of By Blood We Live, I, Lucifer, and many other books. He was chosen by both Arena and The Times Literary Supplement (London) as one of Britain's best young novelists. He lives in London.
Top customer reviews
Without giving away too much of the plot, the characters are all flawed and - to a certain extent - unlikeable. This did nothing to lessen my enjoyment, as Saul Black formed fully fleshed out and nuanced characters, and there are some truly beautiful lines of prose on how humans think and operate.
The two minor criticisms I have did nothing to lesson my...perhaps not enjoyment of the book but my ability to be completely caught up by the story. One: Especially as the book races towards it's conclusion, there seem to be quite a lot of coincidences in timing that seem less realistic than the rest of this very gritty novel. Two: the character of the FBI liaison. Her actions seem very outlandish, given her motives, and the plausibility of some of what she is able to accomplish is a little far-fetched.
Overall a very compelling read, but definitely not for everyone. Know yourself!